Religion and Radical Politics: An Alternative Christian Tradition in the United States


"Religion and Radical Politics explores the history of American left-wing Christians who discovered the convergence between radical politics and Christian faith. Robert H. Craig examines the life histories of individuals, movements, and organizations that encompass more than a century of American history and discusses the role of religious activism in movements of social transformation. Craig demonstrates how, for many black preachers, labor organizers, Socialists, feminist agitators, and Christian pacifists, God was present where people struggled for justice. These were people who often were dismissed as unimportant because they lacked power, status, and prominence in the eyes of those who measure the world according to the standards of wealth and privilege. Craig describes the activists who participated in this (largely ignored) alternative tradition of social action on behalf of the poor and oppressed. Among those included are Jesse H. Jones, Edward H. Rogers, the Christian Labor Union, and the Knights of Labor, which represented workers; Frances Willard and Mother Jones, who worked to improve the status of women and working-class people; Reverdy Ransom, W. E. B. Du Bois, Hubert Harrison, and George Washington Woodbey, who wrestled with the relationship between race and class; Southern radicals such as Howard Kester, Claude Williams, and the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, which struggled for racial equality; and those involved in the politics of nonviolence, such as Dorothy Day and A. J. Muste. Besides examining the role that religion has played in movements for social change, the author also stresses the contribution these movements have made in the development of American history and culture, providing a better understanding of ourselves as a people and a nation." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Philadelphia
Publication year:
  • 1992


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